By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
ANDOVER - Journalist Adam Knapp, who has written award-winning articles for publications that include the Wichita Eagle and the Butler County Times-Gazette, is currently working on Out Here in Kansas, a documentary short film about Burt Humburg, an Iowa physician originally from Andover.
Humburg was an All-American football player at Southwestern College in Winfield, who struggled with his sexuality. Knapp is no stranger to Humburg’s story; he initially wrote an article about Humburg almost 15 years ago, and then again in 2011.
WICHITA – President Ben Breese-Isley and the Wichita Bears will be hosting their annual bear run, Bears in the Heat, Thursday, July 9-Saturday, July 11 at the Hotel at Waterwalk. Bears, Otters, Cubs and their admirers are invited to attend.
Activities include “Bears at the Casino” night Thursday, pool parties both Friday and Saturday, a pub crawl Friday night with meal, and a banquet/Toga/Bingo Party Saturday evening at Caesars Table. Other than the pool parties and lunch on Saturday, attendees are free to explore Wichita or gather in the hospitality suite for fellowship.
The entire weekend that includes the pub crawl transportation on Friday night and the banquet on Saturday night is $80. Single day fees are $40. Register for the event by going to www.wichitabears.org/bearsintheheat.html and clicking the “register here” button.
Participants have already registered from Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, and California.
By Blake Hampton
WICHITA - On May 14 Ken Bolton was laid to rest. At 84 years old he was a retired pastor, a Sunday school teacher, a U.S. Army veteran, and a great grandfather. Though he is gone this is not what troubles Bolton’s family.
In an interview with Dr. Paul Bolton, Ken’s son, Paul expressed how the Pastor Dr. Charles Boswell of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita upset the plans that were made to honor Ken’s memory.
Dr. Bolton, though originally from Wichita, moved to California where he practiced as a chiropractor. “About a year and a half ago I was in a car accident. I was riding a bicycle when I got hit by a car,” he explained. “It’s been a long road to recovery. I felt like during that time I was in a place where I could help my dad out, and so I came back.”
In a historic 5-4 ruling on June 26 the Supreme Court of the United States found bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional — and that the fundamental right to marriage is a fundamental right for all. The majority’s opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, represents a clear mandate for governors, state attorneys general and officials everywhere to cease their attempts to uphold these discriminatory statutes.
On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v Hodges, a case originating in Ohio. Jim Obergefell issued the following statement in reaction to the ruling: “Today I could not be prouder of my country, more grateful for the memory of my late husband John, and more indebted to the incredible lawyers, advocates and fellow plaintiffs who made this landmark day possible. The fact that the state I have long called home will finally recognize my marriage to the man I honored and cherished for more than 20 years is a profound vindication — a victory I’m proud to share with countless more couples across the country.”
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
TOPEKA - Two beloved ‘out’ characters have tied the knot at Topeka’s Equality House, conveniently located across from the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). Albus Dumbledore, from the famed Harry Potter series, and Gandalf, from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, were portrayed by local actors for the June 7 ceremony.
The ceremony was organized and hosted by Planting Peace, a nonprofit organization which focuses on humanitarian aid and environmental initiatives, and also founded the Equality House. Funds for the wedding event were raised via CrowdRise, an online platform dedicated exclusively to charitable fundraising.
Julia Bucciero, commu-nications manager for CrowdRise, says the wedding was the idea of Aaron Jackson, founder of Planting Peace. The idea came to him after he saw Westboro Baptist Church tweet in relation to a potential wedding between the two characters. “Their tweet said if a union between Dumbledore and Gandalf were to occur, they’d be sure to picket and Aaron decided to bring the wedding to them,” says Bucciero.
By Grayson Barnes
WICHITA - Cougar the Musical had its Midwest debut on June 19 at Roxy’s Downtown in Wichita and runs through July 18. It is a fairly young show in the musical scheme of things, having opened Off-Broadway in August 2012. The book and lyrics are by Donna Moore, who was also responsible for a portion of the music.
The name of the musical promises the older-woman-in-search-of-younger-prey storyline, but the tale is more nuanced. Cougar is a series of vignettes about the changes in the lives of three women over 40. Their stories are loosely pinned like lengths of ribbon to a central place – a “cougar” club – and to a person – the club’s owner – Mary-Marie. Mary-Marie opened her business to cash in on the older female crowd, ensuring them an ample supply of booze and beefcake.
WICHITA - The Ulrich Museum recently announced its Art For Your Ears Outdoor Concert Series summer lineup. The series features a variety of musical genres. Admission is free and open to the public.
Art For Your Ears concerts are held on the McKnight Art Center Plaza (west of the Ulrich). Rain location is the WSU Campus Activities Center Theater.
The museum galleries will open at 6:30pm, performances begin at 7 pm. Light refreshments will be provided.
July 9: Nikki Moddelmog and Shane Marler with Dennis Hardin
Locally grown singer/songwriter, Nikki Moddelmog, takes the stage with Shane Marler and Dennis Hardin performing soulful melodies and their unique blend of jazz infused folk songs.
WICHITA – Heart of America Men’s Chorus is looking to expand its ranks by adding a few new voices to their chorus. Men age 18 or over who love to sing are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to join a friendly group of men who have been entertaining local and regional audiences for over 13 years. Membership is open to any male regardless of sexual orientation.
In addition, the chorus needs people to be on its Board of Directors. There are several openings on the board that need to be filled. Backgrounds in marketing, media relations, catering, law, or business are specifically sought.
If interested in joining the chorus, its board or for more info, contact www.hoamc.org.
By Kristi Parker, editor
WICHITA - The LGBT community of Wichita lost a treasured ally last month. Tanya Tandoc, owner of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, was killed in her home June 3 by a friend she was letting live in her basement. Curtis Mitchell was a local musician and a friend of both Tandoc and her ex-husband Wayne Gottstine, of the local band Split Lip Rayfield.
Mitchell was arrested at the scene after police responded to a 911 call requesting a welfare check on Tandoc. Mitchell at first told police that Tandoc may be in Lawrence, but as they were leaving he called 911 and said that he had killed his roommate. When police returned they found her body, bound at the hands and feet, in a storage area in the basement. It is believed that she was killed the day before her body was found.
In an unusual step, Mitchell pled guilty to the murder in court less than two weeks later against the advice of his court-appointed attorney.
Tandoc was an advocate for the community well before she became a restaurant owner. She was part of a loosely organized group of friends that had gathered under the name "Who’s Next?" in the early 90s. The group didn’t have a clear focus other than gay and lesbian rights and forming a network to respond to events when needed. However, just a few weeks later Bill Tanner was shot in Herman Hill Park in south Wichita. The group’s focus quickly became hate crimes reporting and police classification.
Tandoc attended culinary school in San Francisco, and when she opened her first restaurant in 1997 she immediately placed ads in the Liberty Press to show her support of the community. She donated to many causes over the years including chili for First Metropolitan Community Church’s chili cook-offs, gift cards and aprons to Queens are Wild, artwork to ArtAID, hors d'oeuvres for art openings, expertise to other restaurant owners - wherever she could help, she would.
When the second incarnation of her restaurant opened, she joked that the ads she placed in the past in Liberty Press were the only advertising she ever bought . . . as she signed an ad contract for the new restaurant. They featured her beloved pugs ordering carry out.
Tandoc’s restaurants had always been so successful she didn’t need to advertise. There were lines from the counter to the door every lunch hour.
She was also a woman of many talents, often seen performing on the cello around town with fellow musicians, belly dancing with a local troupe, and making pottery for art shows on Final Friday. She was a friend of the theatre community, hired members of the LGBT community in her restaurant, and reviewed local restaurants for Wichita’s local NPR station, KMUW.
At 45, Tandoc was taken from the community far too soon. She was an irreplaceable bright spot in Wichita’s cultural communities.
Petition was launched in response to the tragic story of Leelah Alcorn and calls for help to ban the dangerous and discredited practice
WASHINGTON – Today, the White House responded to a petition with over 120,000 signers seeking “help to ban the practice known as 'conversion therapy.’” The petition came in response to the heartbreaking story of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old transgender youth who tragically took her own life after being subjected to the horrifying experiences of the dangerous and discredited practice. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization hailed the White House’s response to the petition.
“The White House statement today is historic and sends a clear message that this dangerous and discredited practice should be relegated to the dustbin of history,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Psychological abuse has no place in therapy, no matter the intention. Conversion therapy uses fear and shame that no child should be exposed to, telling young people that the only way to find love or acceptance is to change the very nature of who they are.”
“So-called ‘ex-gay therapy’ devastates LGBT people and their families, and we commend the president for speaking out against these dangerous and discredited practices.”
(Washington, April 8, 2015) –Today President Obama condemned efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity – sometimes referred to as “ex-gay”, “conversion” or “reparative” therapy – for minors.
In a statement released today, President Obama calls for an end to “conversion therapy,” stating in part, “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”
WASHINGTON – Today, major corporations signed on to launch a statement by businesses speaking out against an onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation being considered in states around the country. The statement, launched today by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, calls on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact these harmful pieces of legislation. Other corporations are expected to sign on to the growing list in the coming days, reflecting an ever increasing momentum to stop these bills.
In a Sunday op-ed for The Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook decried pro-discrimination laws as dangerous and called on business leaders to speak up. Joining Cook in calling out these laws are long time supporters of equality: American Airlines, Inc.; Apple, Inc.; Levi Strauss & Co; Microsoft Corp.; Orbitz Worldwide; Replacements, Ltd; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; and Wells Fargo & Company.
WASHINGTON--April 1, in response to the announcement that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will ask the Arkansas Legislature to recall the discriminatory H.B. 1228, amend it to mirror the provisions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that he will consider an executive order granting an unspecified set of protections for LGBT state employees, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released this statement from its President, Chad Griffin.
"It's clear Governor Hutchinson has heard the voices of thousands of Arkansans and millions across the nation, and today's decision to temporarily stop this discriminatory law from advancing is a sign of progress. But the proof will be in the pudding, and we must now wait to see what actions and language Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Legislature put forward in the coming days and weeks.
CHARLESTON - On Saturday in West Virginia, the legislative session came to an end at midnight, in effect killing extreme anti-LGBT bills which had failed to move forward - including a bill to abolish local liberty (HB 2881) and two so-called "religious freedom" bills (HB 2508 and SB 487). Fairness West Virginia, the statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) West Virginians, and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, claimed victory in stopping these extreme anti-LGBT bills from moving forward and vowed to continue the fight for fairness and equality in the state.
“With the help of fair-minded legislators in both chambers and both parties, along with thousands of LGBT advocates and allies, we successfully fought off attempts to dismantle equality in the Mountain State,” said Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider. “As evidenced by the overwhelming public opposition to discriminatory legislation, it’s clear that West Virginia is no place for intolerance and hate. We look forward to continue working with our allies in the WV Legislature to ensure that West Virginia is a more inclusive and attractive place to call home.”